2 Kings 22

Listen to 2 Kings 22
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath.
2 He did what was pleasing in the LORD ’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and grandson of Meshullam, the court secretary, to the Temple of the LORD . He told him,
4 “Go to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the money the gatekeepers have collected from the people at the LORD ’s Temple.
5 Entrust this money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the LORD ’s Temple. Then they can use it to pay workers to repair the Temple.
6 They will need to hire carpenters, builders, and masons. Also have them buy the timber and the finished stone needed to repair the Temple.
7 But don’t require the construction supervisors to keep account of the money they receive, for they are honest and trustworthy men.”
8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the LORD ’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the LORD to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.”
10 Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.
11 When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.
12 Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser:
13 “Go to the Temple and speak to the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the LORD ’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to the New Quarter of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, the keeper of the Temple wardrobe.
15 She said to them, “The LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you,
16 ‘This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people. All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true.
17 For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.’
18 “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the LORD and tell him: ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard:
19 You were sorry and humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the LORD .
20 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.’” So they took her message back to the king.

2 Kings 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Josiah's good reign, His care for repairing the temple, The book of the law found. (1-10) Josiah consults Huldah the prophetess. (11-20)

Verses 1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were instruments in producing this difference. His character was most excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce; they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Verses 11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those best honour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread, and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should put us upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, what we may expect, and must provide for. Those who are truly apprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be very anxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know what judgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. The generality of the people were hardened, and their hearts unhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness of heart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those who most fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. Though Josiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace with God, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness, they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter into the rest which remaineth for the people of God.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem. Hebrew reads the Mishneh.
  • [b]. Hebrew this place; also in 22:19, 20 .

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 22

This chapter begins with the age and character of Josiah king of Judah, 2Ki 22:1-2, relates his orders for repairing the temple, 2Ki 22:3-7, his attention to the book of the law, which was found, and read to him, and the effect it had upon him, 2Ki 22:8-11, the command he gave to certain persons to inquire of the Lord about it, who applied to Huldah the prophetess, 2Ki 22:12-14, who returned an answer by them to the king, foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and giving the reason of it, and at the same time assuring the king it should not be in his days, 2Ki 22:15-20.

2 Kings 22 Commentaries